tv John King USA CNN December 14, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
some critics suggest, why is wall street doing as well as it's doing check out the blog post. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening. tonight, live from rhymen gardens on the campus of iowa state university in ames, iowa holes its kick-off caucuses in 20 days. a clear sense that the newt gingrich surge is stalling, or has reached a plateau, anyway. in a moment, we'll explore who might benefit from a gingrich stall, and ron paul has to be high on any such list. first, why is it happening? activists tell us a barrage of criticism from gingrich rivals is beginning to take a toll. and those attacks increased sharply today led by the one-time front-runner, mitt romney. >> zany is great in a campaign, it's great on talk radio, great in the print. it makes for fun reading.
but in terms of a president, we need a leader. and a leader needs to be someone who can bring americans together. >> moments ago the iowa front-runner, now the national front-runner, newt gingrich, deflected governor romney's criticism directed at gingrich campaign. telling reporters at a press conference that just concluded in iowa city, iowa he will continue to focus on staying positive. positive was not the tone gingrich took during several exchanges during the news conference. jim acosta was at the news conference and joins us from iowa city. take us inside the press conference. the speaker questioned not only about the romney attack but was other things as well. you could see he was a tad testy. >> reporter: he was. you know, i think what newt gingrich was trying to say in this room, just a few moments ago, is that he is, as you said, a few moments ago, trying to stick to a positive campaign. there was that attack from mitt romney earlier today. i pressed him on that question. i said, look he called you zany
in this interview with "the new york times" and he sort of cut off the question and said, i'm not going to go there, i'm going it leave it up to reporters to ask the candidates what they're doing and what they're saying on the campaign trail. i'm going to focus on a positive campaign. he admitted, later on in that news conference, john that he felt like he had been baited by mitt romney earlier this week. recall earlier this week, when governor romney said that newt gingrich had perhaps returned some of the money he earned advising the housing giant freddie mac, and then newt gingrich responded, perhaps mitt romney should compensate all of those people he downsized the head of bayne capital. gingrich conceded that he felt baited into that back and forth, and he feels that took him off message. he message, he says, is a positive one. >> they should run their campaign the way they want to. i'm going to run my campaign the way i want to. my campaigness going to focus on
positive ideas and positive solutions. >> reporter: so that's how newt gingrich put it right there. he says he's going to focus on positive solutions. he was at an event today talking about a brain science project he wants to bring to the national institutes of health if elected president. but, john, during that speech that he gave here at university of iowa, occupy wall street protesters, they call themselves occupy iowa city protesters, lashed out at the former speaker. security had to take the demonstrators out. at the very end of that question and answer session, in that room there was an unidentified man who asked a nasty question of newt gingrich and said to the former speaker that he had a ph.d. on cheating on his wife. think was a difficult day for the former speaker, john. >> difficult day heading into the final stretch here in iowa. the challenge now is, can he keep the lead in the polls? jim acosta, thank you.
more perspective from our chief political an lift, gloria borger. this is testing time. he leads in the national polls, more importantly, leads here in iowa, the first state and then south carolina and florida, three and four. the question, can he withstand the attacks? there's two parts of that. how does he response to them? two, how do the vooet votters, with newt gingrich, will it sell or does he have to fire back? >> it's working so far. he makes a point when he says he feels baited because he is being baited, to a degree with negative ads coming at him, with mitt romney calling him zany and intemperate, and you know, i think if he keeps the smile on his face it's going to -- it's going to work for him, john. the question is, you have other campaigns out there who are waiting for the old newt gingrich to return, and you know the old newt gingrich, john, and he will respond. you know, he says he reserves the right to respond to charges that are specifically made at
him, but i think today he was -- he was really exhibiting a lot of self-restraint, don't you? >> self-restraint for now. the question is, the last debate before the iowa caucuses is tomorrow night. he's going to encounter more protesters, more tough questions. some of them personal. let's listen to the exchange jim acosta was talking about near the end of the gingrich news conference. >> yes, sir. you talk about money not being everything. but you have taken plenty of shortcuts, publishing your books and marketing them. it seems like -- >> how would you know? >> and cheating on your wife -- >> how would you know? other than personal hostility, which is understandable, but not part of the academic experience, how would you know anything about how i published and sold books? i went to commercial publishers, they were in bookstores, people who liked them could buy them, people who didn't didn't have to buy them.
it was called freedom. the fact i write books people like may bother you. it doesn't mean people aren't allowed to buy them. >> a classic gingrich and calm answer to the part of his success selling books. he ignored the question about his personal life. if he's going to spend a lot of time in iowa, from reporters and activists, there's going to more of that over the next 20 days. >> he handled himself pretty well there, john. he could have taken on the marital infidelity question, he chose to ignore it, which is a good thing for him to do, and talked about the academic experience. newt gingrichs a teacher. he's a professor. he's a lecturer. and so he -- he understood how to handle it. if the hostility's thrown at him and he deflects in a low-key way, i think that probably works to his advantage. i think the question is, on policy, as it comes at him at the debate tomorrow night, the
question is whether his poll numbers start to go down. if people believe he's less than a conservative that than he says he is and that's important in iowa, right? >> it's very important in iowa. that's where people say the attacks are beginning to take a toll. gloria made mention of that debate tomorrow night. very important to watch. we'll see if he's doing in the debates what he's doing in these interviews. gloria borger, thanks. more to tell you about on the campaign trail today. another poll showing that newt gingrich is clearly the republican front-runner when you look at national numbers. 40% of those surveyed by nbc news with the "wall street journal" prefer gingrich as the republican nominee. mitt romney is coming in second at 23%. take a look when the same poll asked how the top republican candidates stack up against president obama. romney statistically tied with the president. but compare that to obama versus gingrich. the president leads 51% to 40%. ramping up his attacks on gingrich today, governor romney released a web video tying the former speaker to another former
speaker that, well, republicans love to hate, the democrat, nancy pelosi. >> if enough of us demand action from our leaders -- >> together we can do this. >> another dond watcandidate to ron paul, numbers are rising in iowa and new hampshire. >> a whole lot for the campaign that means momentum is building up. a lot of the candidates so far in this past year would come and go. they'd shoot to the top and drop back rapidly. ours has never been that way. ho ours has been steady growth. >> here in iowa, there's a buzz about perhaps an uptick for the texas governor, rick perry. he launched a 42-city bus tour across iowa. governor perry's message he's the washington outsider who will change the way business is done,
especially on capitol hill. >> i think it's time to send them home, cut their pay in half, cut their staffs in half. you want to overhaul washington, d.c., that's one of the ways to do it. >> back in washington, late today, news of a major concession from senate democrats who say they will now drop their push for a tax on those making over $1 million. that was part of the democratic proposal to pay for extending the payroll tax cut. in a -- this news, a testy exchange on the floor of the senate earlier today -- >> republican leaders already spent weeks drumming up tea party support for legislation they knew was dead on arrival in the senate. now it's time to get this vote over with, so real negotiations can begin to run a tax increase on 160 million middle class americans. >> it made no attempt to produce a bill that can pass the senate. it is their responsibility and the majority to do that. instead we've wasted week after
week after week, one senseless show vote after another. >> this afternoon, democratic leaders went to the white house for a last-minute meeting. let's check in with kate bolduan. she has the latest from capitol hill. kate, the democrats have been adamant this is twit pay for the payroll tax extension, why did they essentially blink? >> reporter: this is a major concession on the part of democrats. this came following a midday meeting of senate democratic leaders with president obama at the white house. i'm told by a senate democrat source democrats are working on a new offer to extend the payroll tax cut. details of what will be included in that not yet unveiled, not yet clear, but significantly, as noted they will be dropping this millionaire's surtax as a way to cover the cost. what does this mean going forward? it's anyone's guess, it's all very fluid up here on capitol hill right now. i think a big question is, if democrats are giving here, and
they will tell you this is their -- i'm sure they will tell us this is their attempt towards compromise to break the logjam and the standstill we've been watching play out today if they're going to give here, what will they be looking for republicans to give on from their perspective. what will republicans give if democrats give on this major concession? that is not clear right now. also very interesting, i'll be looking forward to see how republican leader in the senate and the house will be reacting on to this news. some colleagues did ask speaker boehner as well asthma jorts leader eric cantor on the house side what their thoughts were on this developing news. they deflects questions but i don't fknow if we can read into that as it's developing at moment. as you know, we can't read too much into every step of the way, as this has been quite a winding road to this point. but we do know that both sides are very much feeling the
pressure to break this logjam and break this standstill as we're facing potential government shutdown come friday and of course the american people being very tired that both sides cannot come together to reach a compromise on this and pretty much every other issue, john. >> it's okay, it's complicated chess for both parties. republicans don't want to be part of raising taxes and the senate democrats thought they had a good issue with the millionaire's tax. is that a sense among the senate democrats the urgency of the white house to keep the tax cut in place is taking away from them a potential issue in the campaign next year? >> reporter: i think one thing that really changed the feeling up here, if i could say today, was that after the house voted last night on their version, on the republican version, to extend the payroll tax cut which democrats are opposed to, senate democrats thought they would be moving towards a vote on this house bill in the senate, which
democrats say would not pass, would fail, and thus that would be kind of the next chess move if you will, to get to the negotiating table. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell, he hesitated and he resisted that from moving forward. so there seems to have been kind of a change in the status and a change in the stance today, and we're seeing a lot of different movements that no one predicted and we'll have to see kind of how that plays out and what that means for the democratic and republican message going forward because as you know, this has to do with political strategy, john. >> a lot of moving parts on capitol hill. kate bolduan, keeping track of it. we'll check in as the story unfolds in the days ahead. three minutes away from a live interview with michele bachmann, once a big republican favorite especially near iowa. she's now struggling. 6:40, evangelicals will make up a majority of the caucusgoers.
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state university. jack trice stadium. michele bachmann winning the ames republican straw poll that vaulted her into the top tier. strong early debate performances kept her there. since then the congresswoman has been struggling including right here in n. her birth state of iowa. michele bachmann joins us live. heading into the final stretch, 20 days now from the state you were born in, casting the first official votes of 2012, if you look at polling here in iowa, the new american research group poll out, gingrich, 22, ron paul 17, romney, 17, perry at 13 you're in fifth, tied with rick santorum at 7%. what went wrong near iowa? >> actually, there's an a.p. poll that came out today that's just fresh and hot off the presses, i'm tied for third right now. so we've moves up a lot just in the last couple of days. that's what you're going to see, 60 to 70% of the people are
undecided and this reads a lot like a book. chapter one, we won the only race held in the country that was statewide, the iowa straw poll. i won that. then we had new candidates come in with a lot of drama, but ooh think when we get to the last chapter, john, we are going to see people come home because they're looking for the true proven tested conservative and that's me. i'm the one who can stand on the stage with barack obama. there's no issues of compromise between barack obama and ploois. i think what you're going to see is a lot of great pretenders in this race pretending to be conservatives but they're really just big government liberals and that's what the problem is. that's not what our base wants. they went a true social conservative, a true fiscal conservative, a true tea partier, and a true national security conservative. of all candidates in the race, i'm the only one that meets that criteria. that's why i'm confident that we're going to show very strong on january 3rd. >> so let's talk a bit about that. i'll get to some of the
conditions you call phony conservatives in a minute. someone you would concede as a fellow conservative on most issues is rick santorum, former pennsylvania senator. he knows that a big part of his base if he's to do well here, has to be evangelical christian conservatives. at least half of the caucusgoers for republicans are evangelical voters. listen to rick santorum who likes you and likes your record, but he doesn't think you're presidential. >> it's not like she's ever had or has had any record of success of attracting the kind of voters that we need if we're going to win this election. i think she has a lot going for her but we -- we've gone through a president with limited experience. it's not working out real well for america. >> how would you respond to senator santorum who is trying to take away your support among born-again christians and other evangelical voters? >> i very strong support and the reason why i do is because
people know that i have a strong track record. i'm 100% pro-life from conception until natural death. i also raised 23 foster children in my home, together with five biological kids and carried the constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman. i've stood up for religious liberty strongly during my time in congress. the other thing is i'm the first republican woman to get elected in a liberal state like minnesota. that's never happened before. i've won four races since the time that rick santorum lost his race. and i have great respect for rick santorum but i have a very strong level of accomplishment. i think part of that includes the fact that i came from a family that went to below poverty and i earned my way out of that poverty and eventually i worked my way through college, law school, post doctorate program in federal tax law. i worked for years in the federal tax court. i started a successful company.
i employ scores of people in my business. i'm a very successful person. i also won in a district where nancy pelosi spent $9.6 million to defeat me. i raises more money for congress than any member in the history of congress and brought 40,000 americans to fight against obama care to the washington, d.c., capital. i have a very strong track record of success, including minnesota was the only state in the country that had overturned our federal politically correct dumbed down education standards. i have a strong record of success that i'll put up against anyone's. and the most important thing about being president is being a lead who stands and i will. >> let's me jump in here. i don't know if you're aware, but you have a supporting role in a new web video, the romney campaign is sending around to its supporters. you can see it on the internet. governor romney saying newt gingrichs a hypocrite when it comes to freddie mac, he was
with you in an event in 2008 when he was railing against it. let's listen to the speaker's criticism. we'll see a small glimpse of michele bachmann in this video, and then i'll ask you a question. >> the consequence of the survival they should be broken up, they should go through the equivalent of a receivership and then everybody who is profiting from them should pay the cost of having failed. >> is speaker gingrich a hypocrite? everybody who prof fitted should pay the cost ? what do you say? >> speaker gingrich has a real problem. over 30 years he's been the quintessential insider. he is the establishment. he's the king of k street. his address is the rodeo drive of washington, d.c., which is k street where all of the lobbyists will r. that's because he's taken in over $100 million for influence pedalling. taking over $1.6 million from
freddie mac the epicenter of the financial meltdown and now he's saying the opposite they should go into bankruptcy. none of it adds up. if you look at newt gingrich's record, not only is he a big government liberal, he's also on the progressive territory where, for 20 years, he was hanging out with toffler looking at third wave, which is moving the united states away from our current form of government. newt gingrich has all kinds of trouble with illegal immigration, he was for the $700 billion t.a.r.p., for the libya invasion, he has been for every issue that our basis against. and he has a lot of trouble on the pro-life issue and marriage issue as well. >> as you raise -- forgive me for interrupting -- as you raise the policy distinctions with speaker gingrich, this quote, something your south carolina spokesman said about newt gingrich. donahue said gingrich is buying votes.
bachmann is trying to grow an organic base of sporters. newt gingrich is trying to buy off tea party groups. newt gingrich knows the only way to get the tea party vote is to buy it. does your campaign have any evidence that speaker gingrich is doing anything improper, he's buying votes? >> well, westly would have to speak to that himself for what evidence that he has. but this is something that we've been hearing across the country that money is changing hands. and that's not how i do business. in fact, i've told people, i've told evangelicals, tea partiers, i don't pay people to come out be and be my supporters. that's not what we do when we have tea party groups and all of the rest. i don't do that. i'm a real person. i'm ail simple person but i'm a real person. and i am not late to coming to this dance of beinging a conservative. i've always been a conservative. but i in what is probably in my favor more than anything, and the last five years i have been
in the lion's den of washington, d.c. when i've had a chance i didn't sit on my hands. i actively took on president obama. i was on the tip of the spear fighting president obama. he knows me. i was his chief fool when it came to obama care, fighting him on the dodd/frank bill, fighting him on illegal immigration. i was fighting when newt gingrich and a lot of these other guys were on board the same train trying to get this done. newt gingrich, for instance, spent 20 years advocating to the health care mandate as recently as may of this year. you can't possibly think these people are ever going to repeal obama care. they won't. not in a million years. i will. that's what we need. someone who will actually do what they say and that's me. >> congresswoman michele bachmann, appreciate your time. we'll keep an eye on you in the final 20 days of the campaign. jill biden, whether her husband will run for the top
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he's an an extraordinary unreliable leader in the conservative world, not in 16 or 17 years ago because in the last two three years. i think he's shown a level of unrely ability as a conservative leader today. will the attacks hurt gingrich? if so, will governor romney necessarily be the beneficiary here in iowa and elsewhere? let's begin there and a conversation with our conservative contributor, eric erickson redstate.com. and conservative activist becky beach and jim curtainback, a former iowa state chairman. neither becky or jim has a candidate this time around. erick, the simple question if you talk to the people on the ground here, they do tell you they get a sense that gingrich has plateaued. and in part because of the attacks. if romney's the chief attacker, is he the schechief beneficiary? >> i'm not sure he is. i'm not a big romney fan, but i
feel sorry for him on the attacks because they need to be made but when he makes them at newt gingrich, the gingrich response is to say, that's what they say about you, too. they're hurting gingrich but they're not helping romney about -- the only crazier thing, only zhangnier thing romney can do is try out john sununu and blame gingrich for the tax increase in the '90s, but they did that, too. >> that will take us back to the '90s. i was there. i don't think anyone of us want to go back there. a press conference this came up, attacks on him as a faux conservative. here what happens newt gingrich had to say. >> for somebody to suggest that's not a conservative voting record, i mean, some point it becomes a joke. so the question is, after we are done with first wave of negativity, to people shrug it off and tell you more about the person than who runs the ad than it tells you about newt gingrich? you're a conservative activist in the state.
is speaker gingrich a conservative? is he reliable. >> he's a conservative. >> governor romney's wrong. >> no, he's a conservative and i think the main thing is trying to beat president obama. both romney and gingrich are conservatives. >> okay. so when governor romney attacks as -- he's zany, an unreliable conservative. number one, do you agree? >> well, we're in heat of the battle right now iowa. you have been around iowa politics for a long time, john, people are going to say things that will drive the numbers up. people have been up and down in the polls continually. i don't think any is in a mean-spirited fashion. >> it's not nentsmen in a mean-spirited fashion. am i right? we've started in davenport and moved up the eastern part of the state, moved to cedar rapids today we came here to ames. when you talked to the activists, they say gingrich is leading but they get the sense
it's plateaued, is that fair? >> i think it's fair. i think it's right. if the caucus were today he would win, i'm not sure that's the case in a couple of weeks. >> who is benefiting right now? >> well, my guess is right now that all of the candidates are rising up. i think what people are trying to do is settle down on the top three candidates. in their minds who they want to go into the caucuses with. iowa has always been what i would call a win place or show state. you don't have to win coming out of iowa to move on, and we have a long history of that. right now you're seeing consolidation of the top three conditions. >> if you're in the bottom three, say a bachmann, santorum, if you're in the bottom, you're probably gone from the race because of fund-raising challenges. one of the surprise ises ron paul. on a campus like this you pick up his young base of support. ron paul talking about how well he's doing but worrying out loud, the oldest candidate in the field, this could take a
while. >> i'm not looking forward to anything long and protracted. i thoep ends quickly and we do well in the beginning of the year. the organization's fantastic. am i going to hold up doing all of this? >> he's a funny guy, eric erickson, i don't know if i'm going to hole up if this goes on a long time. what do you explain, and i have a theory here, i want you to go first, ron paul not only holding his base, he seems to be growing at least a little. >> sorry, we lost eric erickson for a second there. how is ron paul who is less out of the mane stream now than four years ago but many say he's not a real republican, why is he growing? why is he a threat here? >> i think it's the same reason that we see governor romney doing well, is both of them have been campaigning for a long time, people have heard they're message and they're consistent on their message. they're trying to move and secure period after period on --
>> if romney's consistent, why are you not for him now? >> i could be. i came out of another president. i was co-chair of the republican party through july, was with tim pawlenty for a while. he's backing governor romney now. i may be back with governor romney before it's all over. but i decided to focus on a few other issues, travel around the state, try to drive people into the caucuses so everyone can come out and participate. >> how about you? back in the day, we had conversations you wanted governor palin to run. if you look at governor perry, a slight uptick in the buzz. if you track the bus tour, he's starting in the western part, going across the state. it takes you through the areas where mike huckabee won four years ago. >> i don't think so. i think he can -- no, i don't think he'll finish in the top four. what we need to see, at least what candidate would want to see i finishing in the top four and
i don't think he'll be in top four. i think the top four will be gingrich, not necessarily in this order, gingrich, ron paul, romney, and santorum. >> santorum. you think santorum? >> i think his -- going to all 99 counties has been very ep helpful but rick perry and bachmann are doing the same. >> see if the old fashioned way or new fashioned way works here. we'll check in. thanks to you. the number that might make the difference right here in iowa. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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welcome back about. if you're just joining us, latest news you need to know. there may be a break in the deadlock over the extending the payroll tax cut. as you might know, republicans have vehemently opposed that idea. aaa predicts a lot of americans will be busy traveling this holiday season. it predicts 92 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home and the majority will get to grandma's by automobile. what are the chances vice president joe biden might run for the white house in 2016? well, here's what his wife jill had to say when she was asked that question. >> you know, i never say no to anything but who knows? right now, really our focus is
getting barack re-elected and that's ha we're working hard on. i think joe would be a great president and his priorities are my priorities. the one reason i encouraged him to run last time was to get out of iraq. i mean, that meant so much to me, having a son who was deplied. now my dream's come true. >> mrs. biden went on to say if her husband did run it would be to continue what he and president obama have already started. now let's move on to tonight's number which is 60. that's because 60% of iowa republican caucusgoers identified themselves as evangelicals in exit polls in 2008. that makes the evangelical constituency critical heading into the caucuses 20 nights from tonight. trivia, if you come to iowa, here's one of the things you can learn. what did the romneys, ann and mitt do on their first date. the answer's ahead. ♪ ent her backcollege for her sophomore year ♪
♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ but the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪ you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪
>> that's ann romney in seeder rapids last night. we'll see how effective she is on the campaign trail. "erin burnett outfront" coming up at the top of the hour. what's ahead? >> john, interesting hearing ann romney giving the personal side of mitt romney. as you've been talking about, three big events here in new york city today for mitt romney. i can tell you i talked to one at his lunch, which was held at the waldorf astoria hotel, 200 people, standing-room only and $500,000 raises for mitt romney at lunch alone. he's going to a dinner now. bottom line on that. and then we're going to talk to senator kent conrad from north dakota. you know we've been talking about a decent proposal to get this payroll tax done and have it paid for. tonight a big compromise by democrats, huge, they're not going to force that millionaire surtax through. so how will it get paid for? will we get a deal snp kent conrad, his point of view and talk about pipeline which republicans want.
he's a democrat. may want that as well. we'll talk to him about that, all of that coming up at the top of the hour. back to you, john. >> looking forward to that. complicated chess on capitol hill. senator conrad, we'll see how that goes. see you in a few minutes. toheene here in iowa, mike mu huckabee hosting a screening called the gift of life. michele bachmann and senator santorum all there, maybe to court evangelical voters. some prominent -- joining us here, rich and landen and in san diego, the pastor of skyline church, jim garlow. mr. land you set off a provocative debate. you wrote speaker gingrich an open letter and wrote this, promise your fellow americans if they are generous enough to
trust you with the presidency they you will not let them down and there will nobody moral scandals in a gingrich white house. i don't believe he's responded to you. he did write a letter to an organization in iowa the family leader. he didn't sign their pledge but he did write a letter promising to uphold the institution of marriage to personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others. is that good enough? >> it's certainly a strong step in the right direction. look, forgiveness is part of the spiritual dna of evangelicals. we believe in forgiveness. we believe in redemption. we believe in second and third chances. but forgiveness and trusting someone with the presidency are two different things entirely. and i think that newt gingrich has made significant headway but he does have still work to do, i believe, talking to evangelicals that i know, and who talk to me, he still has work to do, particularly with evangelical
women. >> pastor, is that fair? does he have work to do with evangelical women and is mr. landness inquiry, is that fair game in your view? >> i've had the advantage offing with him and talking about this issue with him probably about as much as anybody except his pastor. forgiveness is an instant, restoration is a process. he's moves beyond the instant, he's forgiven by god. if there were no sin, there would nobody cross, that's why jesus die on the cross for our sins. he works through the restoration process in a spak tacklar way. we have to be cautious because all of us come before god as sinners and secondly we have a bible that's restorative. king david violated a lot of things and so did pete somewhere paul in the things he ever came to kr christ. in my times with him, i believe he's well on that journey in an
awesome way. >> mr. land, is it just his personal history or do you have some personal dealings wirth the former speaker that lead you to be somewhat suspicious? >> i'm personally not suspicious. i've known the speaker a long time. i sense in him a grounding, and he seems to have found in his faith a forgiveness and a grounding that had perhaps eluded him in the past. but i'm not the people -- i'm not the people he's trying to convince. he has some work to do still with evangelical women. i think a lot of them would like to hear him say one time what john mccain said to rick warren. the failure of my first marriage was the greatest regret of my life, and it was my fault. >> do you think, pastor garlow, he would benefit by giving, if
not a speech, a venue, a faith venue to say something like that, to be more personal about his failings? >> i would encourage him to continue to talk as transparentally as i've heard him talk the last few years. i heard him talk in orlando when he spoke openly of this. i heard him talk here in san diego to pastors. look, i'm damaged goods. i'm not qualified to speak on topics like i'd wish. he's not been one who has dodged the reality that he can't defend his past actions. none of us do. that's the nature of sin. i think he's talked very openly on this topic and i suspect he'll need to continue to do that. i believe he will. he's not defensive on the topic. i found him to be extremely transparent. and i recognized, too, on the conservative values issue -- i'm a guy who advocates for the family -- he stands rock solid. his voting record on abortion is about 99%. it doesn't get a lot better than
that. and he's committed to marriage being defined as one man/one woman. he's right on the fiscal issues. he's what we need in terms of a leader for the biblical values that i hold to personally. >> let me ask you each quickly in closing about another issue. back in 2008 we did see especially among some southern baptists that they wouldn't vote for mitt romney because they had questions about his mormon faith. mr. lappend, to you, the term c was used. is mitt romney going to use this again or should evangelical voters accept it and vote for him? >> i think mostly ivevangelical have come to terms with they're either going to accept him and his mormonism and that shouldn't be a disqualification for the presidency or they think it is. and my guess is that most of those people who are evangelicals who don't vote for him in the primaries because he is a mormon would vote for him
in a general election. in fact, even pastor jeffires said if it came down to obama and romney, he would vote for romney. i think what mitt needs to do is talk about the issues from his perspective and what he would do as president. i think that the mormon issue, that's pretty much been played out in terms of the republican primary. and people are either for him or against him. >> we'll watch it play out in the weeks ahead here in iowa and south carolina. mr. land, pastor garlow, we appreciate your time and insights. next up, why the change in the election may be where i am tonight, on a college campus.
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it is finals week here at iowa state, so as you might imagine the students are a little tired and a tad frazzled yet easy to find students actively involved in the iowa campaign, which brings to us tonight's "truth" and it's a threefold lesson. ron paul is for real. his energetic student following is hard to miss. and it is very clear that team obama sees that campus threat and is organizing early even though the president has no primary challenger. 20 days from now a lot of people think ron paul could have a chance surprising people in winning this state. if so, the oldest candidate in the republican field is counting on young people like you. is that possible? >> oh, yes. definitely, definitely possible.
>> why does a young person -- why is a young person attracted to ron paul? >> he has a lot of things young people look for such as civil liberties. >> now you were a cain supporter. >> yes. >> so you're looking. you have 20 days to make a choice. what's your criteria? >> the main things i'm looking for in a candidate is social issues is the main thing i'm looking at. i have been my entire life and just looking through candidates like rick perry and michele bachmann. >> abortion, same-sex marriage it shall. >> those are the two main issues. >> and you're in the middle of finals, it's a businey time on campus, are the campaigns interacting? are you getting e-mails, mail, phone calls? >> yes. i'm getting a lot of phone calls from -- i have friends in campaigns and since they know that i have a lot of leeway when it comes to the college republicans here at iowa state they're trying to get hold of me on their campaign. i've had rick perry's people contact me. >> you sign up, you can sway some other people? >> i might be able to, yeah. >> when you see all this
republican activity on campus, does it make you worry about next year? >> it's a purple state. everybody knows that. obama needs to win the state to win the election. and that's why we're organizing really well right now. we have eight campaign offices, i believe, in the state. that is seven more than any other republican candidate here. and you may not see it in the meet yeah right now but the obama campaign is in full swing and going strong. >> how much have you been influenced by the debates as opposed to watching candidates when they come to iowa or what they say in their tv or radio ads? >> i've tried -- i've seen every single candidate so far this year. i purposely try to talk to them on a personal level rather than just going by what the debates are saying. >> is there anybody in the republican field that if they were the nominee you would stay home and not vote for them? >> i will vote for anyone that would be -- >> any one of this group that wins the nomination?